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Dear Parents and Whanau
In the first week back we were excited to welcome 82% of our students to school. Over the last two weeks as the number of positive Covid-19 cases in the community began to increase, student attendance decreased to 64% and has remained constant since. To date we have 37 positive student cases reported to us and this is growing daily. I would like to acknowledge parents and whanau for promptly reporting your child’s Covid status whether it be isolating due to being a household contact or a positive case. This allows us to pass on the information to the Ministry of Health who are collecting this data.
Staff attendance too has been dropping. Currently we have four staff members testing positive and four staff isolating due to being household contacts. Our challenge now, as expected, is trying to keep school open for our learners and managing to staff classrooms while teachers are isolating.
For us to continue to teach face to face with our tamariki who have lost so much schooling already over the past two years, we had to split the classes of those teachers who are isolating. With classroom rolls dropping to under half their normal roll, we were able to do this. The classroom teacher, if well and isolating, is connecting with and teaching students who are isolating at home. In addition to this, if requested, classroom teachers have been providing hardcopies and online learning for their students at home. This ensures that ALL students are accessing the learning. If your child was one of the split classes you would have received a hardcopy and an email informing you of their temporary teacher and their contact details.
Transitioning to distance learning
At some point in the future we anticipate that our staffing is going to be challenged further and when this happens we may have to move to distance learning. This could be a class, a few classes, a team, more than one team and as a last resort we will all have to move to distance learning with the exception of children of essential workers and those who need to send their children to school. We will operate bubble classes like we did in the past. If we come to this, you will be informed.
We have planned for this worse case scenario and if this eventuates we are ready. The Ministry of Education has also put together a very impressive and engaging learning pack for students with or without digital devices working from home. See below for more information and where to access this.
MInistry of Education Learning Packs
In early February 2022, the Ministry released a trial set of downloadable learning packs. The Learning from Home packs are designed to support learning against rich curriculum themes, drawing on a range of bicultural and multi-cultural contexts. They demonstrate rich learning across several year groupings, covering multiple curriculum areas, including literacy and numeracy.
The Learning from Home packs are being designed to be used flexibly, in and out of the classroom, with and without digital devices. Each pack will provide up to two weeks of learning activities, per theme for each year grouping. Teachers and whānau are encouraged to pick, choose and adapt the activities to meet the needs of their learners and their school community.
Please be assured that the school is not a vaccination centre and that your child will not be vaccinated without your consent. The school under no circumstances will grant permission for your child to be vaccinated. Some of you might have attended the vaccination rollout in Flatbush on the weekend and if you missed this one look out for similar rollouts in other areas
The information below comes to schools via the Ministry of Health.
Vaccination rollout for tamariki (5 to 11 years)
We have been working in partnership with Counties Manukau DHB and Whanau Ora Healthcare to organise a special drive-through pop-up vaccination event for schools in Pakuranga, Howick, Flat Bush and the surrounding area. This event is part of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for tamarki (5 to 11 years). Other vaccines, dose 1 and 2 and boosters for adults will also be available. This will be a fun event for the whole whaanau, including kai trucks, entertainment, prizes and giveaways.
The new Omicron strain of the virus is highly infectious which means it can be passed on from person to person much more easily than ever before. The vaccine is the best way that we can keep our community safe from COVID-19 and reduces the risk of becoming very ill from the virus (the likelihood of ending up in hospital from COVID-19 is significantly reduced). Although tamariki have a lower risk of getting really sick from COVID-19, the vaccine reduces the risk further especially for children with other health conditions.
Everyone over the age of 5 years is now eligible to have their FREE COVID-19 vaccine – the vaccine for tamariki between the ages of 5 and 11 years was approved prior to Christmas and tens-of-thousands of children in NZ have now joined the millions of kids worldwide who have had their jab.
You do not need to book – simply turn up on the day!
Please make sure you and your whaanau have face coverings and if possible, bring your NHI number.
Information and resources about the Vaccine:
Here is a video featuring answers to some key questions from Dr Matire Harwood and others:
You can also check out these videos from Dr Teuila Percival:
What can parents do to prepare: https://www.facebook.com/preparepacific/videos/1081681645941327/
Why is Tamariki vaccination important? https://www.facebook.com/preparepacific/videos/881045979249253/
Consent advice: https://www.facebook.com/preparepacific/videos/315534723817932/
Information about tamariki vaccine doses: https://www.facebook.com/preparepacific/videos/2141524149337876/
Tamariki vaccine side effects: https://www.facebook.com/preparepacific/videos/208612791487536/
Q &A panel session with Drs Anthony Jordan, Jin Russell and Matire Harwood.
What does the vaccine experience look like for Tamariki:
COVID Korero (child interviewing with a doctor about the vaccine):
Let’s all show whanaungatanga and do this for our whaanau, friends and community.
Afterschool Middle School Skateboarding
We had a great turn out for our first skateboarding lesson. The kids showed great confidence in learning new skills. A few falls didn’t put off our PHS challenge takers!
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